Rahul Gandhi, the leader of India’s main opposition party, the Congress, has been reinstated as a member of parliament after the Supreme Court suspended his conviction for defamation.
Gandhi was found guilty of defaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others with the same surname by calling them “thieves” in a 2019 speech.
He was sentenced to two years in prison and lost his seat in the lower house of parliament. However, the Supreme Court last week stayed his conviction and allowed him to return to parliament and contest the general election due next year.
Gandhi challenged his conviction in a lower court, but the case is yet to be heard. Gandhi’s reinstatement is seen as a boost for his party, which has formed a coalition with other opposition parties to take on Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming polls.
Rahul Gandhi’s supporters have welcomed his comeback and accused the government of targeting opposition leaders with false cases to silence dissent.